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Sonic Frontiers Thread - PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MykonosFan, May 27, 2021.

  1. RDNexus

    RDNexus

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    I think ST could return the models to their SA1 style, more in-between Classic & Modern.
    And by SA1 style, I meant the original Dreamcast style, not the SADX remastered style...

    They'd retain the nostalgia factor and feel (nowadays) slightly different from latest years.
    Also, they could animate the characters a bit more, their movements usually quite stiff...
    They're non-human characters, they could move in more acrobatic and stylish ways ^^"
     
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  2. Sneekie

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    I have no problem with the current model but I feel for a new era of Sonic and hopefully a bigger budget, I would want them to experiment with an update or if possible a new art style change in general.
     
  3. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Well, that's why I said "not sure about the texture details here". I just mean that his shoes need red soles and white trim. This mod is a better example of what I'd want:
    upload_2023-5-29_7-56-23.png
    (though I'd also prefer they be more curved and sleek ala the movie shoes)

    Again, I don't need them to go that far. I'm not sure how possible that kind of animation even is without a fixed camera, but they totally could do it for the shoes, I've seen it done with friggin' SRB2 models.

    That's entirely dependent on who you get to do it. Maybe Tyson Hesse wouldn't do the perfect job, he's certainly done more 2D work and I'd say his movie Sonic is actually among the worse things despite being loads better than the gremlin, but there are plenty of good candidates. Adam Bryce Thomas and Evan Stanley have established the definitive visual direction for IDW, and both of them basically feel like they're drawing in 3D a lot of the time as well as being able to depict Sonic with a front-mouth without it looking awkward (Stanley even is a 3D artist as well). Point is, there's loads of talent to pull from.

    See the thing is, we need to remember that "in between classic and modern" is what we have right now, at least with how Kawamura described the design as of Unleashed. Other than a thinner torso, Sonic's proportions are not dramatically different from SA1! The shape of his head is, but that's more over the progression of time and polygons than anything, that weird cuteness that Mario 64 Mario had is never coming back in HD either.
     
  4. Snub-n0zeMunkey

    Snub-n0zeMunkey

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    unrelated but for some reason when I look at this GIF I keep hearing the scooby doo running sfx in my head lol
     
  5. AdmiralJuicy

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    The models are fine, for the most part. My only gripe is the buttcrack between Sonic's eyes. It has haunted me ever since I noticed it.
     
  6. Antheraea

    Antheraea

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    still mad that they axed this after the initial JP release of Sonic Adventure
     
  7. Ah, I was just skimming and saw the photo which didn’t look great to me. That makes sense then.

    As for the Arc Sys style, yeah, they make their animations with the fixed camera angle in mind, but I’m sure there are ways to utilize that stylized “limited animation” look to achieve something pretty striking for a traditional 3D camera. At the very least, it may make for a cool 2D game in the future if they return to it.
     
  8. AdmiralJuicy

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    That type of animation is doable... for big budget releases. Which 'Sonic Team' haven't had access to in more than a decade.
     
  9. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Well, do you have an example? I'm thinking primarily of FighterZ here since I don't play many fighting games, but the most distinct things about the animation in that game that I can think of are the smears, the foreshortening and the timing. Maybe arcsys has a way to smearframe 3D animation faster than anyone else, but it's by no means exclusive to them (as I said, Sonic 4 does it even though it looks kinda bad). The foreshortening totally does rely on the fixed camera, there's no way around that as far as I know. And the timing...well, it makes sense for a game trying to emulate the style of an anime (something with a variable framerate), and while I could theoretically see Sonic doing this, I don't really need it. We all want a game that looks like Spiderverse, but that's not where I'd start.

    It's wrong to just attribute all this to "budget". I don't know how much money arc system works has to put into each project, but they had multiple releases each year up until 2021, and I can't imagine they're worth vast amounts more than Sonic Team. This is a question of design philosophy.
     
  10. AdmiralJuicy

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    A 2D fighting game that focuses on 1 angle for the animations 90% of the time doesn't have to worry how it would look like if the player shifted the camera. It's a lot less troublesome. Even anime struggles with this kind of animation when it comes to more dynamic shots.
     
  11. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I'm still not sure that forced perspective in 3D with a controllable camera would be "expensive" so much as "impossible". I can safely say I've never seen a game do it.
     
  12. After considering it more, you'd need multiple (virtually infinite) versions of the animations to represent the 360-degree viewpoint around the character while preserving the style. I didn't realise just how much was dependent on the forced perspective.

    https://twitter.com/kohta0130/status/717555450799984640

    A good example of how it could fuck up.

    You could probably cheat this in a few ways, like by having a few set perspectives for animations (like back, profile, 3/4 view, etc.), limiting the camera angle in gameplay (which they pretty much do in boost games), designing the smears in a way where they can function like Mickey Mouse ears in Epic Mickey, etc., but it ultimately wouldn't be worth it and would probably end up looking worse than normal 3D animation.

    https://twitter.com/polygonomicon/status/1324653229351694336

    This game seems to do it decently. Not as good as Arc Sys, but definitely a more unique look than standard 3D.

    I don't think I'd call it impossible overall, but just unfeasible with currently available tools. I wouldn't be surprised if some future AI tool can tweak animations based on the camera perspective in order to emulate 2D.

    That said, even if it's not being used in gameplay, it can still be utilised during cutscenes as the camera isn't free or in a 2D games as I said before.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2023
  13. AdmiralJuicy

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    Like BlueSkiesAM2 said, you'd need to animate every single angle and account for when the player moves the camera, no game has done it because it's quiet a lot of work, therefore expensive, and the results, well...

    Like I said there are anime out there that have used this kind of technique in their animation, but I forgot to add that even those had a bigger than average budget for those scenes alone (i.e. movies).
     
  14. Antheraea

    Antheraea

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    this is true. they do some amazing model shenanigans to get the shots to work (think: breaking the bones, making the hands huge, etc), and thus they only work with a fixed camera.

    To elaborate, a non-game example of using fixed camera angles to mask the shenanigans that make an exaggerated pose possible, this shot from the jojo part 2 anime intro:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    There is straight up no way to do this without a fixed camera. Gamers would howl upon seeing such shit, they already howled when they noticed that some of the poses in Smash Bros are exaggerated without outright breaking the model in this way.

    Now, Sonic himself might be able to do crazy things if they actually bothered to animate his limbs to be boneless, but that isn't the case at the moment, he has proper elbows and knees, and also doing non-bone animation without messing up the model and its proportions (or without just making it plain grotesque) is very difficult.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2023
  15. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    I feel like we're mixing our topics here. Getting Sonic's face to distort in 3D to look 2D is nigh-impossible, but 3D smears absolutely can and have been done by plenty of games, they don't require a fixed camera.
     
  16. It is getting a bit mixed because I didn't really state anything beyond wanting an "Arc Sys" style of animation in the beginning. What I originally meant was for harsh shadows and limited animation style with smears in lieu of frame interpolation. I didn't realise how much they distort the models' proportions, which definitely wouldn't be feasible in 3D without some compromises. You can do it a bit with the Frontiers-style fixed camera special attacks, but I don't like those anyway.

    Simply put, I just want cel-shading and more hand animations with smears. Maybe some more distortions in cutscenes where you have the fixed cam, but it may introduce some inconsistencies in the presentation. Though I think it's a good idea for a future 2D game.
     
  17. Shaddy the guy

    Shaddy the guy

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    Sorry, I was fixating on the smears because we were talking about Sonic's shoe-wheel effect. And yeah! I think cel-shading is a good way for the series to go, especially when it still has to be competitive on Nintendo hardware.

    This mod got a lot of good impressions when it showed up:

    And while it's not quite what I want (I'm just not all that big on the old style of promo art shading), it's pretty damn striking, and I think a game with that same boldness would age miles better visually than Frontiers will.
     
  18. Zephyr

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    I've always liked that style of promo art, but god seeing it on a model looks tacky as fuck. Please no.
     
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  19. kazz

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    Please no to the smirk texture but aside from that I think it could work with some adjustment and y'know in a game setting that reflect its artstyle.

    And really this is pretty much just a fancy version of applying Jet Set shading to Sonic. It's weird Sega's never bothered with something like it outside of Shuffle of all games.
     
  20. Starduster

    Starduster

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    Honestly, while these kinds of mods are impressive and clearly put out by talented folks, I’m not a fan of the outline and bold colours aesthetic as represented here. If they’re going to go with cel-shading, I think they should do something painterly ala Breath of the Wild/Tears of the Kingdom, but specific taking inspiration from Tyson Hesse’s IDW #25 cover, with its subtle brush strokes. https://i0.wp.com/tailschannel.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/STH25A.jpg?fit=1318,2000&ssl=1